PEr FYI

February 22, 2020

Hakkasan, New York City…you’ll die poor but happy

New York’s Chinese food scene is a diverse beast. There’s pork ribs to sweet, stir-fried-whatever-you-can-think-of, Hong Kong Dim Sum, the classic Peking duck and of course the comforting staples including noodles and fried rice (and way, way more) at eateries both high end and super casual.

With its innovative Cantonese cooking, Hakkasan is still the benchmark against which all high-end Chinese restaurants should be judged. Their stylish interior and moody lighting attracts all kinds of beautiful people.

We started with hakka steamed dim sum platter – scallop shumai, har gau, prawn and Chinese chive dumpling, black pepper duck dumpling. The pastry was perfect in give and texture, just elastic enough to encase generous bites of flavour-packed meat and seafood. The stir-fry black pepper beef ribeye with Merlot was equally good, the melting tenderness of top-quality meat turning the clichéd staple into a luxury – Chinese takeaways should weep with shame. We also enjoyed the hot and sour soup with chicken, shiitake and pomelo, spring onion and fried egg rice and the tofu, aubergine and Japanese mushroom claypot with chili and black bean sauce

You’ll die poor but happy. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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November 3, 2018

Le Boky, Geneva…light on quality Chinese

Every food-loving traveller has an intimate relationship with Chinese food.

With a long, long list of menu items, even the pickiest eaters will find something to sample at le Boky. For all the food it has to offer, Le Boky is light on quality Chinese. You don’t come here for inventive, contemporary eats — you come for familiar plates of fried rice with roasted pork and chives and fried Japanese tofu with salted duck eggs , served quick and hot.

You want frills? You came to the wrong Chinese. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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October 27, 2018

Van Phong Kien Truc Su Tran Binh, Ho Chi Minh City…the flavours are pure Vietnamese.

Contrary to other Asian cuisines, most Singaporeans have only a lukewarm love affair with Vietnamese food.

Enter Van Phong Kien Truc Su Tran Binh, which helps the Vietnamese food scene step up a gear. If you’re already a fan, this could become a favourite. If you’re not, it might just convert you.

The food is full of bright, fresh flavours, with an abundance of fragrant herbs and minimal use of oil. Try the superb dau hu trung nha lam – home-made tofu with egg. But why stop there? Choose the Thit kho trung – pork stewed with egg and the squid fried with fish sauce and also the climbing perch stewed in claypot.

It’s not great. But it’s good. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

van phong kien truc su tran binh hcmc1

September 1, 2017

Bund’s secret, Shanghai…DO NOT GO IN THERE

Some restaurants get it wrong, others are for outrageous pricing, some have disastrous experiences and then there’s the ones that, well, just don’t serve very good food. This one is all of the above.

We ordered braised pork with sweet soy sauce, sautéed Australian scallop with wild mushroom and braised tofu with hairy crab meat. All impressive sounding names on the menu. I can’t report any of the flavours at all: there was nothing for me to swallow during this worst restaurant meal.

DO NOT GO IN THERE. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

bund's secret sha1

April 14, 2017

Yongsusan, Seoul…wholeheartedly traditional

CNN Travel’s 10 best Korean restaurants in Seoul, rated “Good standard” on MICHELIN Guide 2017.  Yongsusan is a restaurant which even Korean food traditionalists would struggle to call anything but authentic.

The wholeheartedly traditional sole set menu include dishes such as napa wraps with stir-fried pork, tofu cake, assorted pan-fried delicacies, casserole in a hot pot, meat and vegetable brochette and so on. The bulgogi too is reliably on the point and compelling.

This is the place to come for home-style Korean cooking. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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June 4, 2011

Yee Shun milk company, Hong Kong…desserts heaven for milk lovers

Yee Shun is famous for their steamed (some people call them double boiled, and yet some others stewed)  milk. I can testify, it’s super smooth and satisfying… they do serve super duper steamed milk curd. The appearance of the steamed milk is not unlike soy bean curd, but taste-wise it is lighter than beancurd – a bit like very very soft tofu.

Their signature double skin steamed milk has the distinctly rich milk flavour and silkily, velvety fine texture which is something I have never tasted before. It was love at first spoon(ful). I have tried both the cold milk curd and the warm one. Warm one it is for me. The sweetness comes through more strongly in the hot one than the cold one. Other than signature steamed milk, it also sells other desserts like steamed egg. I tried the cold one but it’s average and not as outstanding as the steamed milk.

Service is really fast, because they have batches of the steamed milk ready. This is desserts heaven. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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